Purchase a Virtual Space Station for $330,000 (Real) Dollars!

MMO Planet Calypso

MMO Planet Calypso

Well, if you thought video games were serious business before, you haven’t heard of the auction drama that is the MMO Planet Calypso.

With the announcement that the Crystal Palace Space Station would go up for sale, the games community was abuzz with excitement. The station deed made it to auction on December 14th, and bidding started at 1 PED (Project Entropia Dollar, the game’s currency, which must be purchased with real money. One PED is the equivalent of 10 cents in US currency).

Within about ten days, bidding jumped into the millions, culminating in a final bid by “Buzz Erik Lightyear” of 3,300,000 PED. The value of the bid in real currency is $330,000 dollars. Yes, a third of a million dollars.

Why would anyone purchase a virtual space with real money, you ask?

The logic is actually rather simple, even if it does seem lavish, eccentric and crazy: Owning the property gives the owner whatever PED that property generates. That is to say, any taxes applied to the virtual space or any sales made there essentially translates into money for the owner.

Planet Calypso is something like a casino slot-machine regarding money. The website stresses the fact that the game has a “real economy“, and because the PED currency of Calypso is has a fixed exchange rate of 10:1, you can -potentially- withdraw real money you earn from your adventures in the game. However, while the client and character registration is free, you will find that everything has a price-tag attached to it. Equipment decays with use, ammo must be purchased, etc. The odds are good that, unless you have a brilliant stroke of luck with some high-end loot, you’ll have to dish out real cash to play.

In the end, “Buzz Erik Lightyear” is making a business investment. He has essentially invested $330,000 on a property that might just end up being a money-making generator. Or, it could be a failure of epic proportions.

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